Rain brings unwanted plant growth

July 13, 2010 at 2:13 a.m.

There may be a move on to go green and protect the environment, but Victoria's mayor doesn't like some of the green he's seeing in the city.

The tropical rains in late June and early July sparked a growth of grass and weeds in the city's drainage ditches and creeks. That growth occurred just when the city cut back on its mowing schedule to save money.

"I like the town to look nice," Mayor Will Armstrong said. "When we get the grass growing pretty high in the rights of way, we're not putting our best foot forward."

That prompted Armstrong to ask the staff to find a way to come up with the money needed to increase the frequency of mowing. But City Manager Charles Windwehen has said that would mean having to find other services or areas to cut.

Doug Cochran, director of parks and recreation, said the city has a contract with WW Services to mow the city's drainage ditches and creeks. He said the frequency of mowing was cut beginning May 1 by one-fourth to one-third in an effort to save $100,000 and help make up for a loss on sales tax income this budget year.

"Some of the ditches we took out of the contract and we're mowing them ourselves," he said. "But that's going to be at a reduced frequency as well."

It also means reducing the frequency of mowing the parks so employees can be freed up to mow some of the city rights of way, including the Lone Tree Hike and Bike Trail.

Armstrong said he has no suggestions on where to make budget changes to increase the frequency of mowing. He said he will leave that up to the staff.

He said he has received a few complaints from the public about the growth on city property.

"I got one pretty emphatic complaint," he said. "But I have observed with my own eyes that the is grass growing."



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